Nazi photos showing Christian influence
compiled by Jim Walker
created: 20 May 1998
additions: 02 July 2008

The following photos provide a pictorial glimpse of Hitler, how his Nazis mixed religion with government, and the support for Hitler by the Protestant and Catholic Churches in Germany. In, no way, does this gallery of photos intend to support Nazism or anti-Semitism, but instead, intends to warn against them.

(TV Photo from History Channel's
"Hitler's Lost Plan," aired 18 April 2005)
(Photo source: The Hitler No One Knows: 100 Pictures of the Life of the Führer, by Heinrich Hoffmann)

Hitler With Whip
(TV Photo from National Geographic Channel's "Dawn of the Nazis: Becoming Hitler," aired Dec. 2011)

Hitler With Whip (acting like 'Jesus')

Hitler's close friend, Dietrich Eckart, told of overhearing Hitler showing off to a lady by denouncing Berlin in extravagant terms:  ". . . the luxury, the perversion, the iniquity, the wanton display and the Jewish materialism disgusted me so thoroughly that I was almost beside myself. I nearly imagined myself to be Jesus Christ when he came to his Father's Temple and found the money changers." Eckart described Hitler as "brandishing his whip and exclaimed that it was his mission to descend upon the capital like a Christ and scourge the corrupt."

And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables.
--John 2:14-15

(Note, a scourge of small cords describes a whip.)
Hitler wth Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin, 1935

On April 20, 1939, Archbishop Orsenigo celebrated Hitler's birthday. The celebrations, initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) became a tradition. Each April 20, Cardinal Bertram of Berlin was to send "warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany" and added with "fervent prayers which the Catholics of Germany are sending to heaven on their altars."

(Source: Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell)

(see also USHMM)

The Fuhrer in Franken

Adolf Hitler (center) at the monument for the war dead in Franken Germany. According to Ray Cowdery, Hitler rarely missed an opportunity to visit war memorials, even when a photographer was not present.


(Source: Hitler: The Hoffmann Photographs, Vol. 1, Ray Cowdery, Ed., 1990)

Hitler greets Muller the "Bishop of the Reich" and Abbot Schachleitner



Hitler greets a Catholic Cardinal (Source: USHMM)

Hitler leaving Church

Hitler leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven.

(Source: The German Propaganda Archive)

Hitler at Nazi party rally

Note the "Church of our Lady" in the background as if it represented the foundation of the party. Photo taken in Nuremberg, Germany (circa 1928).

(Source: 20th Century History)

Church & State

Hitler in front of "Church of our Lady" in Nuremberg, Sept. 1934. Photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann.

(Source: USHMM)

Hitler signing his autograph for a Christian fan

(Source: Hitler in Seinen Bergen, Heinrich Hoffmann, Berlin, den 24.9.35)

Hitler praying

The caption reads: "Der ergreifende Abschlub der Kundgebung in Wien: Wir treten zum Beten..."

[The touching and emotional end of the rally in Vienna: Let us pray...]

(Source: Hitler: The Hoffmann Photographs, Vol. 1, Ray R. Cowdery, Ed., 1990)

Hitler's mother's grave

Klara Hitler was a pious Catholic mother who raised Hitler according to her beliefs.

Hitler felt grief-stricken over his mother's death. She was buried alongside her husband in Linz, Austria. German soldiers here pay their respects to the grave in 1938.

Note the Christian cross on her monument.

(Source: The Importance of Adolf Hitler, by Eleanor H. Ayer, Lucent Books, 1996, p. 25)

To see what the gravesite looks like today, click here.

The Göring Wedding

Only Christians perform Christian weddings, and the Nazis were no exception.

Hermann Göring married Emmy Sonnemann, a famous Opera star.

Adolf Hitler stands in the front row as "Best Man" during the ceremony in the Cathedral by Reichbishop Müller.


Nazi Christmas (Some people seem to think that Hitler banned Christmas, but at no time did he ever ban Christmas or any other Christian holiday.)
Autobahn workers as guests of Hitler in the Berlin Sportpalast at Christmas in 1938. Note the Christmas trees on the right.
Hitler celebrating Christmas with his soldiers.
Christmas 1942/43
Christmas 1944 with Nazi officers and their girlfriends.
Note the German Santa Claus.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Concordat between the Vatican and the Nazis

Cardinal Secretary of State, Eugenio Pacelli (later to become Pope Pius XII) signs the Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Vatican at a formal ceremony in Rome on 20 July 1933. Nazi Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen sits at the left, Pacelli in the middle, and the Rudolf Buttmann sits at the right.

The Concordat effectively legitimized Hitler and the Nazi government to the eyes of Catholicism, Christianity, and the world.

The full text of the concordat appears on the Concordat Watch website. (click here to see the text).


Hitler's Brown Army attending and leaving church services. These photos were published by Nazis during Hitler's reign.
(Source: Das Braune Heer: mit einem Geleitwort von Adolf Hitler [Translation: The Brown Army: with a foreword by Adolf Hitler], Photos by Heinrich Hoffmann)

A Nazi flag flies in front of the Cologne Cathedral, 1937
(Source: USHMM)

Hitler Oath:

I swear by God,
this holy oath,
to the Führer of the German Reich and people.
Adolf Hitler...

<Watch movie>

(Source: Hitler: Tyrant of Terror, shown on the History Channel)

Nazi Graves

One must not forget that Germany represented the most Christianized country in the world in the 1930s and 40s. Nazi Christian soldiers died as Protestants and Catholics and their grave markers testified to their religion.

(Source: Photoarchive of the Thrid Reich:
ST Front
(Source: Photoarchive of the Thrid Reich)


Chaplain with a machine gun unit

Most wars are justified on religious grounds.
Of course if a soldier felt uneasy about slaughtering others, they could always turn to a chaplain who would then patiently explain to them that killing is allowed by God and about the righteous morality of war. He might then give a few Biblical examples of God ordained killings. And then he might tell them that Jesus will forgive them and send them to Heaven if they should happen to die.

Nazi funeral
(Source: Third Reich Depot)

According to the source, this period photo comes from the SS Heimwehr Danzig Funeral/Festivities for Fallen SS Soldiers of the "Battle of Westerplatte" that occured in Poland in 1939.


   Wehrmacht Chaplain With Catholic Cross

Chaplain with Catholic Cross

  (Photo source: unknown)

Catholic Bishops giving the Nazi salute in honor of Hitler.
Note Joseph Goebbels (far right) and Wilhelm Frick (second from right)

(Source: USHMM, Photo source: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek [Bavarian State Library])

Franciscan friars gathered around German soldiers

  (Source: USHMM)

An Archbishop with the Nazis

Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, head of the Diplomatic Corps, attending the Nuremburg Party Rally in September 1933.

According to Dr. Paul O'Shea, Orsenigo, as Dean of the Corps, it was the Nuncio's role to lead the Corps at all major government functions. After 1935 Orsenigo did not attend major government propaganda displays.

(Photo source: A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen) [Note, Goldhagen incorrectly attributes this photo to Cardinal Faulhaber.]

Cardinal Bertram in the funeral procession for Bishop Bares, Berlin, 7 March 1935

As a chairman of the German bishop conference the Breslauer Cardinal Bertram plays a crucial role in shaping the attitude of the German bishops in relation to the National Socialist state.

(Photo source: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)

Welcome Celebration for Bishop Konrad Graf von Preysing in the Sportpalast, Berlin, 8 Sept. 1935

Note the Catholic Chi-Rho Cross to the right of the Nazi flag. Chi and Rho are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ. The Chi Rho Cross, or warrior's cross, originated from the monogram of Roman Emperor Constantine. How fitting it appears next to a swastika.

Following the death of Berlin's Bishop Bares, Pope Pius XI unexpectedly selects Konrad Graf von Preysing, a little-known Eichstatt bishop, as bishop of Berlin. Berlin, the region for which he is responsible, now also includes the center of the National Socialist power structure and so requires a high degree of political skill from its ecclesiastical leader.

(Photo source: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)

Priests giving the Hitler salute

Priests giving the Hitler salute at a Catholic youth rally in the Berlin-Neukölln stadium in August 1933.

(Source: A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen)


Catholic Service for Nazis

Priests service for Nazis

(Photo source: unknown)


Ludwig Müller, a Nazi sympathizer, and a candidate of Hitler, was elected to the position of Reich Bishop in 1933 as Hitler attempted to unite regional Protestant churches under Nazi control. Hitler did not practice separation of Church & State.

Although Hitler had problems with the Catholic Church and eventually wanted to replace Catholicism with his brand of Christianity, the very fact that Hitler wanted a united German Church proves that he supported Christianity.

Berlin, Germany, November 17, 1933.

(Source: USHMM)

This autographed portrait of Müller shows him wearing the NSDAP-Hoheitsabzeichen (Nazi Eagle party badge) and Feldschnalle (ribbons).

(Click image for an enlarged view)

(Source: sent by email from Gregers Forssling)

Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller, Berlin, 1934

(Photo source: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)


Mass meeting of the German Christian Movement
13 Nov.1933

A radical wing of German Lutheranism and the main Protestant branch supporting Nazi ideology, the German Christian Movement reconciled Christian doctrine with German nationalism and antisemitism.

(Source: Museum of Tolerance)

Investiture of Reich Church Bishop, 1933

Women in traditional dresses joined Nazis at the investiture of Ludwig Müller as Reich Church Bishop. Müller praised the concept of "one mighty, all-embracing German people's church."

(Source: Museum of Tolerance)

Deutsche Christens

Deutsche Christen
(German Christians)

The Deutsche Christen (DC) became the voice of Nazi ideology within the Evangelical Church (the Religious Right of their day) and approved by Hitler. They proposed a church "Aryan paragraph" to prevent "non-Aryans" from becoming ministers or religious teachers. Most church leaders solidly supported the "Judenmission." Only a very few number of Christians opposed Nazism such as the "Confessing Christians" (a Church movement not recognized by the Protestant orthodoxy) headed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The support of Nazism by the majority of German Christians and German Christian leaders shows the danger of mixing religion with government.
The photo on the left shows the procession of bishops in front of the Berlin Cathedral, 23 Sept. 1934. SS guards stand at attention. The head of the march shows members in party and SA uniforms while pastors follow in the rear.

Note the flags with the Christian cross with the swastika in the middle. To see a movie trailer about the Deutsche Christen, from the documentary film, "Theologians Under Hitler," click here.

(Photo sources: unknown)

Deutsche Christen Flag

Deutsche Christian march
(Photo sources: unknown)

Deutsche Christen (German Christians)

SA storm troopers with placards of the "German Christians," Berlin, July 1933.

On July 14, 1933, Hitler's government approves a new charter for the Protestant church. With massive intervention by the NSDAP, the church elections scheduled only a short time later result in a resounding victory for the "German Christians." Hitler himself appeals to all Protestant Christians in a radio speech on the eve of the election to vote for the "German Christians." With its slogan "church must remain church,"

(Source: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)

Presidium of the "German Christians," Berlin, November 13, 1933

The "German Christians" desired to achieve absolute organizational and ideological conformity between the Protestant church and the National Socialist state. Following their triumphant success in the Protestant church elections in July 1933 and the election of Ludwig Müller to the office of Reich bishop, they feel they have reached the zenith of their power over church policy in the autumn of 1933.

(Source: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)

National Bishop Friedrich Coch giving a Hitler greeting in Dresden, 10 December 1933

Dresden pastor Friedrich Coch is one of the leading men of the "German Christians" in Saxony. The NSDAP's Gau consultant for church matters since 1932, he is elected to the office of state bishop by the "Brown Synod" in August 1933.

(Source: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)

For photos of Nazi artifacts and mementoes, click here.

USHMM: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum